Small isolated populations of this species, which is regarded as »endangered« (EN) by the Red List, inhabit the Cordillera Occidental near Cali, Departamentos Chocó and Valle del Cauca in Colombia, at 670-1,600 m a.s.l..
This frog is a ground-dweller and can be found in both relatively dry gallery forests with cacti, and cool, moist montane forests or remnants of these, and therefore appeares to be able to adapt to a diverse range of natural habitats.
Its limbs and upper sides of body are black as a contrast to a bright red or reddish orange dorsolateral stripe that extends from the tip of the snout over the eyes to about mid-body. A reddish spot is also often present towards the rear of the head and merges with the stripes. The sides of the body are black with a few light yellow or greenish yellow spots or streaks, while the ventral side can be either pale green, pale yellow or bluish green, with a contrasting black marbled pattern.
The frog's call corresponds a loud humming sound of 0.9-1.7 s in duration and consists of 113-134 pulses/s. Also, the specific epithet bombetes (»hummer«) refers to this relatively loud, insectlike advertisement call.
Myers and Daly (1980) have discovered an impotrant link between the climatic circumstances and the populational features of the species. In one population of R. bombetes a low population density, relatively small adults and a large number of juveniles were noticed, which could result from the climatic conditions. The aridity would likely cause a rapid turnover of individuals and generations that had to make use of favorable periods of time for reproduction, while lasting moist conditions lead to a longer lifetime and ability to reproduce throughout the year. A population of frogs living in the latter conditions had a higher population density and large adults while only a few juveniles were to be seen.
The species' diet consists of springtails, aphids, small and large fruit flies, small firebrats, newly hatched crickets, etc. The natural habitat of the larvae is unknown and there is no information available on husbandry and breeding, but it is believed to be similar to those of other representatives of this group.
The terrarium should be smaller, of the Types II or IV, with the floor always covered with a layer of leaf litter. In addition, some bromelias and a small pool should be present.